Albertan Richard Reid has taken possession of a 1946 Aeronca Champ – that he first purchased in 1970 when he was 19 years old. Reid, who obtained his pilot licence when he was 17, put on around 350 hours of flight time before selling it two years later in order to purchase another airplane that could go faster than the 83-mph top speed of the Aeronca.
“I have nothing but fond memories of flying this wonderful little bird,” said the 69-year-old Reid in an interview with the Canadian Press.
Reid’s son David recently tracked down the airplane to its then-current owner in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. It had been sitting in a barn unused by its 90-year-old owner who hadn’t flown it in the last 20 years. He agreed to sell it.
The younger Reid then dismantled it and hauled it back to Cremona, Alberta, where it was located when the elder Reid first owned it. Although it now requires extensive work to get it airworthy again, Reid isn’t discouraged. “I wouldn’t be the least bit afraid to climb in and fly it again,” he said.
Photo credit: Richard Reid